Sorry, no pictures but I just smoked my first spareribs over the weekend and boy, they turned out as well as I had hoped! It was two racks of ribs and I used a Texas-style dry rub from the Smoke And Spice book, I questioned if the digital thermos in the MES 30 was accurate and so I used my Food Network thermos--made by Taylor--which I had previously calibrated to check it out. While the smoker was heating up, I stuck the FN themos probe through a potato and put the potato in the top rack of the smoker. At first during the warmup, the MES thermos displayed 20 degrees higher than the FN, but once it got up to temp there was only a two degree difference between the two. I left the FN thermos stuck in the ribs on the upper rack and just monitored both thermos.
I used the AMNPS with a mixture of hickory and oak pellets and I also used the water pan, which I had previously been advised not to use but I prefer it.
On my first smoking effort, I smoked a brisket but I made the rookie mistake of opening the door since I didn't have enough pellets the first time, and to move the thermos probe around. I also didn't cook the brisket long enough. This time, I put in more than enough pellets and left the door closed all the time. I had planned on smoking the ribs for up to 6 hours put they were done in about 4 1/2. I got the bark I wanted and the meat was falling off the bone. It was delicious.
I learned some lessons this time. First, I can trust both my therms, but I will still do the potato test to see when the two synchronize. Second, just like everyone has said, leave the door closed. Sorry to disagree with Myron Mixon, but I prefer the Set It And Forget It BBQ method. Third, I filled up all 3 rows of the AMNPS with pellets and because of that, the smoke flavor was too intense. The meat can only absorb so much anyway so next time I'll go two rows at most. I don't have to actually smoke the meat all the time it's in the smoker. Fourth, I liked the dry rub but my family likes it sweeter and milder so next time I'm going with a wet rub the wife will make up.
The only thing I don't like about using the smoker is the cleanup. The dishwasher was full so I had to hand clean the racks and some other parts. I leave the interiors walls alone unless some meat or rub or something has crusted onto it. But man, I've realized two dreams of mine so far--brisket and ribs. Still, there are some stains caused by fat drippings that won't come out but that's OK. As my wife would say, it just shows the smoker is well loved.
Just wanted to say the AMNPS has worked like a dream both times but the next time I smoke ribs I'm going to try wood chips just to see how different it turns it. Also, i'm lucky: our local produce mart sells pork products made by a local farm and it's far superior to anything you'll find at a major supermarket or Costco or the like. The ribs were incredibly meaty. They also sell pork bellies and I may gave that a try sometime.